The Shadowhunters' Wiki
The Shadowhunters' Wiki
SPOILER WARNING: Plot details for Chain of Iron follow. Caution is advised!

Black Volume of the Dead, also known as the Dark Artifices, is a powerful spell book containing dark magic.


The Black Volume of the Dead contains such dark magic, including necromancy, that all warlocks are forbidden from owning it.[1]


In the 1800s, the tome was kept in the Cornwall Institute. At one point, Malcolm Fade and Annabel Blackthorn stole it, but it was retrieved shortly after and returned to the Institute.[2]

In late 1903, Magnus Bane and Brother Zachariah were sent to inspect the books in the Cornwall Institute. Just as they were finishing their two week stay to do so, the head of the Institute, Albert Pangborn, informed them that the Black Volume appeared to be moving of its own volition. The pair took the book to the Spiral Labyrinth to be inspected and repaired. They took it to the Brass Vault as the book would return to its original state by either rejoining it with its fellows or not allowing it to do so. Inside the Vault, the book flew out of Magnus's hand and the other books from the shelf joined it to form a golem-like shape. The figure attacked them, injuring Zachariah. Before he and Magnus could destroy it, it escaped into the Brass Arcades.[3]

When Andrew Blackthorn moved to Los Angeles to run the Institute there, he took the book with him. During the Dark War, in December 2007, Malcolm once again stole the book, and this time, the theft went unnoticed for five years.[1] In 2012, he used a spell within the book to resurrect Annabel Blackthorn, and she had since taken hold of the book.[2]

The Unseelie King wanted the book for spells to empower Ash Morgenstern and used the Seelie Queen to gain possession of it. He tried to welcome Annabel into his Court, but the woman wouldn't give up the book. Julian procured a photocopied binding of the book for the Queen that was later destroyed by Ethna. Annabel brought the real book with her to Thule and used it to open a Portal for Julian Blackthorn and Emma Carstairs to return to their dimension before her own death.

Meanwhile, Ty had photos of pages of the Black Volume, synced from Julian's phone. Ty used the pages to cast a spell that would bring Livvy back from the dead and succeeded only partially due to a corrupted catalyst. Ty threw the phone into the ocean afterwards.[4]

Known contents